MBW 687: Alex as a Service

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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Listening to the show right now and glad to see that IU Health has finally joined in the Health App. IT wasn’t there just 6 months ago when I searched.


Listening to the episode now (about 34 minutes in) and am reminded once again of how much I enjoy @mikahsargent as a host. Equally so is the rest of the panel (@Lory, Andy Ihnatko, and Alex Lindsay - who, in my opinion, demonstrates very well in this episode why he’s a valued member of the panel in talking about how Apple (and other) technology is applied).

The sole Apple product I own is the Apple TV (though I’ve owned iPad and iPod Touch devices in the past) and it’s very nice to have such good discussion that includes not only what Apple is doing, but how others are equally good as well (vis-à-vis the AR discussion with Hololens and Magic Leap)

I’ll comment again once I’m further in the episode, but I felt a need to say something since it seems like my posts lately have been more ‘bashing’ (not my intent, but in re-reading them - I can see how they could be taken in that context) and this episode so far is a very nice example of the things I love being done well.


You shouldn’t be afraid to call out things you do and don’t enjoy in a show - how else are the people at TWiT to know what their successes and blind spots are with their audience?


Not really afraid - but it’s very easy, especially in discussions, for opinions to come across as more strongly-held than intended. It’s hard to communicate nuance and tonality via text and I’m trying to be a good citizen of this forum by working to self-monitor and ensure that I’m coming across in a manner close to what I intend.


I’ve been feeling the same way about my posts. I didn’t come here to trash-n-bash either, but frankly it’s been an “off” several weeks for some of the shows I love most, and it’s left me feeling kinda cranky, haha. Clayton is right; we need to offer honest feedback. And you’re right about being mindful of our tone and posts :slight_smile:


Agreed about @mikahsargent. I’ve really been enjoying Windows Weekly with him hosting the last few weeks. Love listening to Alex geeking out about movie production and putting the cost of the Mac Pro and display in context with the cost of the workstations used in movie studios (i.e. not for 99% of us).


Ok, maybe it’s me, probably is, but are the commercials getting longer?

I’ve had the same impression too.

I don’t think it’s TWiT’s fault so much as the tech sphere’s blow-back from the world becoming unavoidable. It’s less pleasant, more complicated. I think it’s to be embraced, humbly. Yes, crankiness remains inappropriate, but responsible journalism of the tech sphere is no longer so free of fractious and fraught fare, so let’s be fair to all parties involved and give vital broader perspective due consideration.


Personally, I find that Mikah runs long on commercial reads.


That’s a really great point. Tech journalists are human beings too, and I know many of them are reeling, like many of us are, with the pace/nature of change, the seeming randomness, unintended consequences, blow back, etc. A lot of fear, frustration, and uncertainty is being generated within and by the tech sphere, and it affects us all, whether we realize it or not.


(sigh) Okay - after finishing the podcast, I found myself really frustrated with Alex’s position on the Apple Card thing with respect to company’s giving “VIP” treatment for customers with higher ‘social credit’. I’m hoping I grossly misinterpreted what he said - but my takeaway from his comments on that is that it’s essentially okay for companies to treat customers differently (i.e. give them better or worse service) based on whether that customer was someone ‘important’ or significant - i.e. someone with higher ‘social credit’ (however that is defined).

I really hope that I just misunderstood his comments and that he meant something else - something less … elitist (for lack of a better word at the moment).

Is there an interpretation that I’m missing that would give me a more charitable understanding of his comments?

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I didn’t have a problem with it when I heard it…but after reading your comments it’s made me think more about it and I think you’re right, companies shouldn’t do that. But they sure do.


I was in the livestream, and you did not misinterpret, however I would add that we in chat were voicing exactly that criticism and he did respond glancingly that he’s not saying it’s fair. I, for one, still, though, fault his accepting that, even as I agree that companies would obviously save themselves a lot of pain by not running roughshod over those who can really squeal. The point isn’t to cluck our tongues at corporations, it’s to fault their failing to serve customers well, whomever they may be.


I really enjoyed this episode. The jokey references to the Alex & Andy Show last week were huge fun, as were the comments on Rene Ritchie’s sudden invisibility, which were followed later the same day by his article on the 16" MacBook Pro appearing on iMore.com: 16-inch MacBook Pro — Clickity-clack, the good keyboard is back! | iMore

Shades of the UK version of House of Cards - “you may think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment”.

It was obvious that everyone was having a great time. :wink:

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Just finished listening this morning and I feel a little disappointed that they couldn’t imagine more use-cases for consumer AR glasses. The thing that I find the most interesting and intriguing about that kind of thing is, simply, use as a HUD for one’s mobile devices. Now, I say this having woken up with a bad case of “tech neck” from having played Mario Kart Tour too much last night, but I think I use my mobile devices less than I otherwise would just because it requires too much of a head-down posture.

But that could just be me getting old. But also, speaking of that, an on-face display that could pitch all of the display info to a distance that didn’t require me to do the “I need reading glasses” shuffle of my phone or watch would be lovely.

And then there’s the travel and educational opportunities. Having just returned from chaperoning an educational trip to Germany, it would have been great to have HUD annotation and guidance, not only around the cities, but in the museums and the monuments and so on and so forth. Or head’s up remote monitoring of cameras. Or…

Well yeah, so I can think of a lot of use cases. And if Apple could package it a not-unattractive design, I think the interest and uptake would be worthwhile for them.

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I have to agree. I used Apple’s new Look Around in Maps for the 1st time recently and was blown away with the detail and precision; it really leaves Google’s Street View in the dust. Look Around is clear evidence, in my mind, of preparation for AR. The detail is just absurdly dense for just car navigation. They’re going to be hilighting businesses, favorite places, navigation, etc. in Car Play windshield projection systems, on iPad/iPhone/iPod screens, and whatever their glasses turn out to be. The evidence IMO is overwhelming. But I do agree with the panel that as of this moment none of it is ready for prime-time.

Oh, yeah, I think the tech itself isn’t quite there, and they certainly had a point about people being comfortable being seen on the camera of such devices. My point is more about the use cases being there or not, and I think they’re very much there. I just watched this week’s episode of Windows Weekly and they talked about all the ways that Microsoft HoloLens is being used, and if Microsoft is able to leverage the technology and use, then I’m certain Apple can manage as well. They’ll want to wait until it’s beautiful and elegant and such, and that may well be some time off.

Oh, you mean for enterprise and stuff? Definitely viable already; those are specialized and constrained much more. Higher unit cost, vastly narrower user-base and use-cases. Apple’s never been enterprise-first, so it makes sense to me they’re biding their time, but from my perspective it’s clear they’re in the process of a long-play building infrastructure for a new ecosystem with AI as a big part of that beyond just on-device sources and capabilities.